Comedy Central Re-Ups Its Two Big Late-Night Stars

Jul 25, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Looking to maintain the success of its late-night block, Comedy Central has extended the contracts of its stars of the daypart, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The network hammered out two-year extensions with both hosts — keeping Stewart on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" at least through mid-2015 and Colbert on “The Colbert Report” through the end of 2014. Stewart’s previous deal was set to run out next summer, with Colbert’s due to elapse at the end of 2012.

The report notes: “The two shows have become a bright light in late-night ratings. During the current TV season, both shows on the Viacom Inc. network have expanded their audience in the key demographic of viewers age 18 to 49.

“That comes in contrast to the performance of broadcast stalwarts ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ on NBC, and ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ on CBS, which have seen younger viewers flee.”

Stewart’s “Daily Show” has seen a 10% bump in the 18-49 demo from last year, with “Colbert Report” rising 11%. The measurement period is late September through the end of June, before the recent DirecTV blackout took effect.

Both shows are probably reaping rewards from the presidential election, with political satire a key element of each show, the report notes.

“Comedy Central said ‘The Daily Show’ now delivers more viewers age 18 to 49 (1.4 million) than any other late-night talk show on television,” the story reports. “Although not the top-rated shows at Comedy Central — ‘South Park’ and ‘Tosh.0’ vie for that honor — the two late-night programs have become key for branding the network and driving advertising sales.”

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